'I'm happy to manage a restaurant' - Q&A with Laszlo Zupan

Laszlo Zupan and a staff member at Liberty restaurant in Wroxham. 

Laszlo Zupan and a staff member at Liberty restaurant in Wroxham. - Credit: Supplied by Laszlo Zupan

Each week we feature someone who lives or works in north Norfolk as part of a series of Q&As. This week we speak to Wroxham restaurateur Laszlo Zupan, 40.

How would you best describe your job or role in the community? 
I am running a restaurant, Liberty, in Wroxham. I have been in hospitality for 20 years now, in different positions.
I have worked on ships, in pubs, in two and five-star hotels, Michelin-starred places.

Wroxham Bridge

The Bridge at Wroxham. - Credit: TourNorfolk


But I have never had so many responsibilities and different tasks, challenges to conquer, as when running my own restaurant.
But at the end of the day, I guess everybody in the industry dreams about having their own places, and not many manage. So I am happy to be able to do what I do.  
Also I am very grateful to my business partner Mark, who helped me make this happen.
    
How long have you lived here?
I moved to England six years ago - before that I was working at sea. My partner lived in London, but I don't like big cities, so we decided to move to Norwich.
I think it's a very liveable city.
It does not feel cramped and it does not feel like a city, more like a bigger English town. But you can find everything you need here. 

What is your favourite landmark in north Norfolk?
I always enjoyed the coastal area, with the white cliffs, sandy beaches.
This sounds now very romantic, if we don't mention the cold winds and cold temperature, even sometimes in the summer.
But I do like the slightly sloped countryside with the typical English cottages here and there. 

Weybourne beach. Picture: Ian Burt

Weybourne. Lazlo enjoys exploring coastal villages by bike. - Credit: Ian Burt


What is your favourite pub?
I don't have a favourite pub. But I do like independent ones better than big chains. 

Which shops do you rely on?
I don t really shop. Even all the birthday presents for friends and family, my partner sorts it out. We will probably get to the point where she buys presents for herself, gifted by me. 
But If I really have to choose, then it's the 'old' DIY shop, Thorns in Norwich city centre. I guess this is a 'man thing'.  

What is your favourite place to eat out in north Norfolk?
I am always interested in trying out new venues and places, be it a fine dining one, like Roger Hickman's Restaurant, or just a food truck on the side of the road. 

Cycling in north Norfolk is one of Lazlo's favourite activities. 

Cycling in north Norfolk is one of Lazlo's favourite activities. - Credit: Archant



What is a perfect day in north Norfolk for you?
My partner and I enjoy riding bicycles, so we would maybe visit one of the local farms, like Wroxham Barns, or one of the coastal villages, and have something to eat in a nice little pub, maybe next to the river. And then we would have a few pints with friends in the evening.  

Lambing season at Wroxham Barns. Charlotte Rowe, Junior Farm supervisor, and Charlotte Kay, a Junior

Charlotte Rowe, Junior Farm supervisor, and Charlotte Kay, a Junior Farm assistant, with a couple of new lambs at Wroxham Barns. - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

What do you most love about north Norfolk?
The weather. I have never seen four seasons within a day on the same spot - and I traveled the world. I worked on ships for six years.